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As a recruitment agent, there are procedures that are required by law which have to be adhered to. This is alongside the basic HR requirements necessary to ensure the candidate and the company are compatible.

Checking the recruits work status is one of the most important but often unchecked in some poor quality recruitment agencies.  It is vital that a recruit is eligible to work in the country where the job placement is located.  On application, a candidate must provide proof they are eligible to work in country. In the UK hiring an ineligible worker can cost a company up to £10,000 per employee in fines if it is found to be employing illegal immigrants.

When checking a recruit’s eligibility make sure you are correct analysing all the document required. For example in the UK a National Insurance number is not sufficient. If unsure a recruitment agency should contact the local authority in the country or an embassy. 

In most counties a recruitment agent should always ask for a passport, it should have a working visa digitally attached to the passport page or in paper form. Asking all candidates for proof, will remove the risk of this happening and you are assured, all your candidates are legally entitled to work.

Criminal Records

When checking a recruit application you should spend an additional amount of time checking the criminal records of the recruit. In most applications there should be a partition where a recruit can disclose their own criminal record.

In some countries you can contact the local authority for a report into criminal records of an individual; these background checks are quite important and for some professions are required by law.

In the UK your agency will be performing under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act of 1974, whereby candidates do not have to disclose "spent" offences. However, some of your clients may well be exempt from the ROA of 1974, for example, if their company remit includes working with children and vulnerable adults. Your client, by law is duty bound to undertake an enhanced criminal record bureau check on every employee. If the candidate is to be a permanent employee, then it is their responsibility to pay for the check. If you are sending candidates to companies, exempt from the ROA, then you will have to undertake the CRB check and there are umbrella organisations who offer services which provide a blanket enhanced disclosure for a number of employees. Therefore, it may well be worthwhile, operating a full disclosure system once you have accepted a candidate to be placed for work. This is vital if you are supplying temporary staff with companies which are exempt from the act.

Follow Up

Once you have placed a candidate with a client, always follow up with your client and candidate to ensure both parties are happy. This gives the client an opportunity to highlight any issues they may be having with your candidate and will give you a good indication on the future prospects of your candidate. It shows a degree of professional service to your client and aftercare of your client will be one of the most vital elements of your service to the various industries you are providing personnel for.

Research Your Clients

When a client approaches you for a member to join their team, then research the company. You may waste time by looking for the perfect match for them. This will never happen. With salary structures now so closed, due to the economy, some companies may well want the best and the ideal candidate may well refuse to work for what is being offered.

Be Clear on Candidate Requirements

Don't make the mistake of overstocking your books with lots of candidates. Your telephone lines will be blocked up with candidates asking for work. Advertise for candidates with specific skill-sets for your clients. Target your workforce well and look at where you advertise. Don't place a credit card sized piece in the classified section of the newspaper, you may end up wasting time with applicants. Look at online postings and see how other recruiters are securing top candidates. This is your business, you want to build a reputation for providing excellent candidates.

Author Bio:  Marie Warren is a avid careers development adviser at and a keen supporter of personal development through entrepreneurial skills.